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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Jason and Sarah's lives are in the hands of an Operative while Emma and the other students have gained their freedom. Just when things seem to get better, another plot twist unfolds.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 601 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
"Do you know what your sin is?" asked the Operative.
"Today or in general?" asked Jason in response.
"Your sin is Pride. It makes you careless and overconfident. You actually thought you could infiltrate the most powerful and well guarded ship in the Alliance Fleet."
"Seems I've done a pretty good job," replied Jason as he held his had to his waist to stem the flow of blood.
"Look around you," replied the Operative. "You are the one about to die.”
With surprising strength for a man with his injuries, Jason kicked the soldier holding him in the groin with the back of his foot, then elbowed him on the neck in almost the same motion. Pulling the man's weapon he fired at the Operative. The bullet struck him in the chest and he fell to the ground. Spinning his legs, the Operative kicked Jason's feet out from under him, knocking him to the floor as well. Jason tried to aim for the other man's head, but the Operative man was quicker. The gun was knocked from Jason's hand by a blow from his sword that almost took off several of his fingers.
Jason rolled himself toward the weapon, but the Operative was already on his feet. Leaping over Jason, he kicked the weapon away. Another kick to Jason's chest left him gasping on the deck. The Operative waited patiently for him to recover. Jason finally looked up to see the point of the sword mere inches from his face.
"This is a good death," said the Operative. "It is nothing to be ashamed of. For all of your pride, you have fought well." The Operative drew back the sword and raised it above his head, preparing to behead the man in front of him. "For you, there is no need to fall upon the blade. You will die a warrior's death, defeated honorably in battle."
Sarah looked on in horror as the Operative’s blade flashed downward. "No!" she cried.
The Operative paused, stopping the blade mid stroke and mere inches from Jason’s neck. He looked back at the girl he had almost forgotten. "Do you wish to be first? If I had to guess, I would say that your sin is Lust. Is that what has led you to follow this man on his foolish quest? If so, you should be happy; you shall soon be together forever."
Sarah felt the cold tendrils of fear twist in her stomach as the Operative began walking toward her. As the menacing figure drew closer, Sarah squirmed and tried to stand, but with her hands bound and her body almost shaking with fear, it was a futile effort. Soon the man was standing over her. The Operative put the tip of his blade under her chin, and forced her face upward until she was looking directly at him, and he at her. “Such a pity,” he remarked.
"Perhaps you should start with me," said a new voice. All three, as well as the two remaining soldiers still in the room turned to the new figure standing silhouetted in the doorway.
"Emma?" said Jason.
"Hello Jason," said the woman. "Yes, I'm real."
"You're, all right?" asked her brother weakly. Of all the ways Jason had thought of being reunited with his sister, he had never imagined it to be with her saving him from a sword-wielding psychopath. And what the hell was that odd looking weapon she was carrying?
"I'm not sure I would say all right, but intact, yes," replied his sister. "I was spared the more barbaric experimentation," she added, in answer to the questions she read from his mind. "You seem to have gone through quit a bit to find me."
"I see I still have to rescue you from the occasional bully though," added Emma, eying the Operative derisively.
"You," said the Operative, for the first time in his long career feeling a hint of fear.
"I was wondering if you could tell me what my sin is?" asked Emma. When she got no response, she continued. "No matter, I already know. It's Wrath; and I assure you, I have a whole hell of a lot of it." All eyes were on Emma as she finally stepped into the room, slowly walking toward the Operative, moving like a cat stalking its prey. The blade of her naginata swished audibly through the air as she swung it over her head and then from side to side.
The Operative barely had time to block her attack as she suddenly swung the long weapon in his direction. The sound of blade meeting blade rang throughout the cargo bay. He parried the blow and lunged swiftly to counterattack, but she effortlessly blocked his sword with the shank of her weapon.
Back and forth they exchanged blows. At one point a soldier fell to the floor as he stumbled to avoid being decapitated by one of Emma's backswings. Jason watched in awe at his sister's prowess with the strange weapon. He had heard from Simon about the Academy, and what River had been taught there. To actually see it however, was another matter entirely. The Operative's face was set into a mask of stony concentration, while Emma almost looked bored.
The Operative was an excellent swordsman, but he simply was no match for the trained assassin that the Alliance had created. His mind was open to her, and she could read every strike and parry before he executed it. When he finally made his mistake, it was only the slightest miscalculation. Emma saw the opening before he had even completed the movement. His attack was too high and it overextended his reach. As a result, it took a split second longer than it should have to brink his sword back into a defensive position.
Emma spun her naginata and blocked the overhead strike with the base of her weapon, then swung upward with the blade that was now pointed at the floor. The naginata's long shank gave her tremendous leverage, and she used it to commit all her body's momentum to the upward slash across her opponent's chest. Blade met flesh and the cruel weapon cut deep. Through her grip, Emma could feel the sickening snap as ribs were cleaved in twain. The blade wedged itself in his sternum and she had to tug to pull it free, eliciting a grunt from her mortally wounded opponent.
"Do you know what your sin is?" asked Emma.
The Operative looked at her as the sword fell from his hands. Unable to stand, he sunk to his knees.
"Your sin is the worship of false gods," said Emma.
"That," the Operative coughed, splattering blood onto the deck, "is not, one of the seven."
"I suppose not," conceded Emma. "But it is the First Commandment of the Bible, not to behold a false god. The Alliance and their Parliament are not gods, Operative. Yet you and your kin blindly follow them as if they were. They are far from gods, or even angles, and they will never create your perfect world."
"Is, this, a good death, then?" asked Operative. The words were mouthed rather than spoken and Emma heard them with her mind rather than her ears.
"I wouldn't know," replied Emma. "I am no so arrogant as to judge." The Operative did not hear her however, for he had left the world of the living.
Emma looked down at the man she had just killed. It had been the first time she had ever taken a life. She had done it many times in simulations, but never before for real. She knew it had needed to be done; that the Operative would have hunted her and her brother to the ends of the 'Verse otherwise. Still though, she wondered if her hands would ever again feel clean.
She turned to the two Alliance soldiers still in the cargo bay. Though they were armed, they dared not draw their weapons. Rather, they began backing away in fear. When it was apparent she was not concerned with them, they turned and ran off. Jason tried to stand, but wavered dizzily from his loss of blood. Emma quickly stepped forward to catch her brother before he fell. It quickly turned into a warm embrace as the two siblings hugged each other. "I was worried you would be dead," said Jason, "or worse."
"I was lucky," replied Emma. "You're not doing so well yourself though."
“Who the hell was that?” asked Jason, looking down at the body.
“Parliamentary Operative,” replied Emma. “He was assigned here to look over the Academy after another student escaped a few years back. He would have killed you and your entire crew for even knowing about its existence.”
"My crew," said Jason. "We need to get them back. Then we can get out of here."
"Afraid you'll need some bandaging before you go anywhere," said Emma as she helped Jason to sit down on a crate. She quickly walked over to a first aid box mounted on a nearby wall, stopping briefly to slice through Sarah's bonds with her short sword. A few minutes later she had bandaged the shallow wound from where the Operative had stabbed him and given him a minor pain sedative and stimulant. She also taped up the cut on Sarah's neck.
"Lets find the others," said Jason, now satisfied that he would not bleed out before rescuing his crew. He carefully rose to his feet, testing his balance.
"We have no idea where they are," said Sarah.
"I think I should be able to find them," replied Emma.
Sergeant Christine Wilkins waited in anticipation for her transport to dock with the massive Alliance cruiser. As the ship grew larger in the cockpit window, she realized that she had never been this close to one before. During the last thirty minutes, she had half expected the large ship to blast them out of the sky. Not only did it not fire, but it gave no indication that it had even picked up the approach of the two dozen Independent transports that were drawing near.
As the pilot guided them in to dock with the other ship, Christine turned and strode back into the staging area where her platoon was waiting for her to lead them aboard the Nietzsche. The transport docked with a clank and she ordered several men to take up offensive positions as the heavy mental blast doors swung open.
They waited. There was no sound of gunfire or running boots. Christine carefully looked around the corner into a corridor of the cruiser. It was eerily deserted, save for a pair of off duty soldiers. They paused in surprise as she stepped into the corridor, then quickly raised their hands when she raiser her weapon.
"Come on men," Christine called back to her platoon, "looks like we caught them with their pants down."
"Sir, we have power back to all decks," said the Ensign. "Weapons and sensors are still offline but their control seems to be unlocked as well."
"What did you do?" asked the Captain.
"Nothing," replied the Ensign. "It's like the virus is deleting itself."
"How long until we have sensors back?" asked First Officer William Lockhart.
"Just a few more seconds, I'm rebooting them now," she answered. As they came back on line she looked over her display. "Jen dao mei!" she exclaimed.
"Watch your language Ensign," admonished the Captain.
"We've been boarded!" exclaimed the Ensign. "We're under attack!"
"What?" exclaimed the Captain. He was having trouble processing the information and he had to put a hand on a nearby console to steady himself. This sort of thing was never supposed to happen. This command was supposed to have been an easy assignment for an aging military bureaucrat. The ship was the base for several of the most advanced weapons systems in the Alliance military. It was supposed to be an administrative position, not a combat role.
Commander Lockhart rolled his eyes as he watched his captain waiver in indecision. "Initiate Code Red," he barked. "Man all battle stations and give the order for all crew members are to arm themselves and prepare for combat"
"Ai-i, sir," replied the Ensign as she set to work. "Reading one boarding party already attached on Deck E, and several more now docking."
"What," replied the Captain, now slightly hysterical.
"Everyone, stay calm," said the First Officer. "Our contingent of marines should be more then sufficient to repel a force of that number. Have all the platoon Sergeants report in on their combat ready status."
"I have three of the on the com now," said the Ensign. "It seems they've been locked in their barracks. The virus scrambled all the door codes."
"Those niao SE duh DOO-gway." Lockhart slumped against a console. "The bastards thought of everything."
As Jason, Emma, and Sarah raced down a corridor, they paused at the sound of gunshots before rounding the next corner. Carefully looking around the bend, they saw a handful of Alliance soldiers fighting an entire platoon of Independents. It was clear that the Alliance where pitifully outnumbered and Jason waited for the inevitable outcome before rounding the corner. He was quickly forced to pull Sarah back under cover, however, as a Browncoat began to raise a weapon in her direction. She was still clad in an Alliance uniform.
“Hold your fire,” yelled Jason. “We’re from the Shire.”
“Lieutenant, ‘at you?” asked a familiar cockney voice.
“Not your lieutenant anymore Christine, but yes, it’s me,” replied Jason. The Browncoats lowered their weapons, and Jason soon explained the situation to the Sergeant. She quickly agreed to help a very grateful Jason liberate his captured crewmembers.
“No problems, mate. We’re on mop-up ere and there’s hardly anyone fer us ta fight”
“That would be Sarah’s doing,” replied Jason. “Her virus locked down all the crew cabins and barracks. Most of the crew should be locked in their own rooms.”
“Clever girl,” said Christine turning to Sarah appreciatively. “Best put this on though, before you get shot.” She shrugged off her long coat and passed it to a grateful Sarah.
Several minutes later they found the brig and liberated Rick, Linda and Matt. The guards, pitifully outnumbered, surrendered without incident.
“Emma!” exclaimed Rick upon seeing Jason’s sister. He dragged the woman into a big bear hug.
“Rick,” greeted Emma as she pushed herself from his crushing embrace. “Gregarious as always, I see.”
“We should get to the bridge,” said Emma, after Rick released her. “The other students will be there soon.”
“Other students?” asked Jason, finally taking a moment to wonder on how exactly Emma had gotten free in the first place.
“Long story,” replied Emma, reading his mind. “Suffice to say we all got loose when the virus affected the ship.”
“Sir, we need to call for help,” said Commander Lockhart.
“Good god,” said the Captain. It would be the end of his career, but he had not choice. “Fine. Make it so.”
“That wont be necessary,” said a voice behind them. They turned to see a young woman holding a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other, thought neither weapon was pointed at anyone in particular. A second sword could be seen at her belt. It took a moment for either of them to register the jumpsuit that she wore which marked her as one of the Academy test subjects. Several other students stood behind her.
“You’ll help us,” asked the Captain, allowing himself a glimmer of hope.
Elizabeth smiled sweetly as she stepped toward the Captain. Of curse I’ll help you,” she said. With a single motion she ran him through with her sword. “Die,” she added.
The room was silent for several seconds as the impaled captain gasped for breath and fell to the floor. A security officer quickly went for his weapon but never even got close before Elizabeth shot him in the head. Lockhart quickly raised his hands in surrender, as did the rest off the bridge crew.
Two students quickly stepped forward and took positions at the control and navigation consoles. With a nod from Elizabeth they began bringing the big Cruiser’s engines on line.
Elizabeth looks around at the captured Alliance soldiers that had been manning the bridge. It took her a moment to consider how she would kill them. She lightly scanned through each of their minds only to find most possess a sense of duty and loyalty that made them regard her with defiance. To a one they were ready to die with honor for their convictions. It was most unsatisfying. Perhaps it would be best to allow them to live a while longer. In time they would be filled with the fear and horror that Elizabeth craved to instill.
One of the communications consoles beeped and Lindsey, the girl now manning it, put the call through to the main screen. The face of William appeared. He was one of the other students that had been gifted with the Pax. “We have control of the engineering deck," he said simply. In the image behind him, the bodies of the Alliance engineering crew could be seen strewn about. Several of the captured Alliance bridge crew stifled gasps at the sight of their slaughtered comrades.
“Excellent,” relied Elizabeth, settling herself into the captain’s chair. “We’ll be setting a course for the nearest Core world.”
"That would be Osirus," said Lindsey. "We can be there in thirty-six hours."
As the group made their way toward the bridge of the large cruiser, Christine’s portable radio crackled to life. “Sergeant Wilkins,” said the voice of General Kurvis, “Please report. The ship appears to be powering its engines and preparing to make way. Have you captured the cruiser or not?”
Christine was baffled by the news. To her knowledge, none of the teams that had infiltrated the ship had yet gotten near the bridge. From beside her the woman who claimed to be Jason’s sister spoke up. “The students, er subjects from the Academy, have taken control of the ship.” Christine relayed the information to Kurvis.
“That doesn't make any sense. Find out what’s going on,” replied Kurvis. “I don't like this," he added before the radio cut out.
Jason looked at Emma questioningly. “You mind telling us what your friends are up to?” he asked his sister.
Emma reached out and lightly brushed the minds of the other students scattered across the large ship. “It's Elizabeth. Oh my god." Her eyes widened and she had to swallow before finishing. "She’s planning something awful.”
TO BE CONTINUED
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